One Marine died, two were injured and eight service members were missing after a “mishap” involving an amphibious vehicle off the coast of Southern California on Thursday, the authorities said.
Search and rescue efforts were continuing early on Friday, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement on Twitter. The service members were assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Pendleton, in the San Diego area.
The Navy and the Coast Guard were assisting in the search, the force said.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident,” said Col. Christopher Bronzi, a commanding officer, in a statement. “I ask that you keep our Marines, Sailors, and their families in your prayers as we continue our search.”
He did not provide details about what had happened in the accident, which involved an Assault Amphibious Vehicle, or A.A.V. Camp Pendleton hosts the largest Marine base on the West Coast, and Marines often practice beach assaults there using the amphibious troop transport vehicles.
Marines have used the vehicles to move troops from the sea and land since the 1970s. In 2017, 15 Marines were wounded when an amphibious vehicle they were training in caught fire at Camp Pendleton.